Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Rocket Science: Ibiza

Here in ibiza, where as far as we're aware, Neil Armstrong still hasn't taken a giant leap for mankind, the expression ' rocket up your arse ' has no significance at all.

However, in my case 'rocket up your back passage' has all sorts of culinary connotations I'd never even dreamt of previously. Having spent the summer carefully cultivating the peppery salad leaves of rocket in my Vegetable Garden, I made an astonishing discovery whilst pulling 'weeds' out of the back passage to our house and garage yesterday.

Wild Rocket

Rocket grows wild! I could smell its peppery pungence as I pulled it out of the ground. Internet research tells me it's favoured by celebrity chefs and pretty soon it'll find it's way onto our table - probably in pesto form - as a free 'burst of flavour' accompaniment to our lunch.

For my American readers Arse = Ass and Rocket = Arrugula

Monday, 29 September 2008

Ibiza - Lagos: Flight 56

No, I'm not planning a trip there, but my identity might!

I've just very carefully smashed to smithereens my old laptop and distributed it over several rubbish containers in the village (a bit like a serial killer would) but I'm still worried that some Nigerian picking over a rubbish tip in the centre of Lagos will find it and steal my identity.

Flight 56 to Lagos preparing for take off

So be warned; if you find yourself reading View from the (Lagos) Villa and receiving loads of mail from me with the good news that you've won the Nigerian lottery you can assume that I'm either drunk in charge of a laptop or have been hijacked by identity smugglers.

Local Taxes - Ibiza Style

I've just paid my local taxes – a kind of tithe – that house and car owners pay every year for the privilege of having a lamppost stuck in the middle of their street or driving on one of the 8 streets in the urban centre of San Jose.
Lessons I have learned over the years are:

Do not ever 'pay' your rates by 'domiciliacion' the Spanish equivalent of direct debit. It actually involves more of your time delivering pieces of paper for stamping and usually ends up with the local police knocking on your door wanting the unpaid taxes plus 10%!!! Both bank and council deny any responsibility for the non-payment/collection of the tax and you're stuck in the middle with a surcharge.

Do not ever go to pay your taxes at the start of the two month collection period. The office will be full of eager tax payers and the staff will be under extreme pressure and stress.

Do not ever go to pay your taxes at the end of the two month collection period. The office will be full of everybody else and the staff will not only be under extreme pressure and stress, but also, their minds will be elsewhere, looking forward to their next 10 months with nothing to do.

Do not ever go to pay your taxes around 11.00 hours. All the staff and everyone else will be drinking coffee in Bar Bernat Vinya while you watch tumbleweed rolling through the office for an hour or so.

Any road, it's all over for another year and we can now enjoy the excellent local services provided by our tax Euros. Ironically I've just paid about 15 Euros per street to keep my car on the roads but unfortunately am not able to park it on the street where I live because 'it is the oldest street in the village!'

The Bang for our Tax Bucks
Street Lighting
Fire Brigade

Public Transport

Friday, 26 September 2008

Giant Mobile Phone

Specially designed for the digitally challenged ie those with fat fingers like me, here it is.....................

Actually, it's not the phone that's big, I put it there to scale the photo, but the laptop that's small. It's my new netbook toy, and this is my first blog entry using it!

I must admit to being impressed. Small, light, compact, it has a webcam, card reader, 80 gigs of memory, a wireless card that picks up a great signal all over the house and though the keyboard is tiny my fat fingers canendjib eicooxh handle it! Well done PC World

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Ibiza Rain

The rain that has been threatening and promised for the last two weeks or so has finally arrived in Ibiza - in torrents! An almighty storm has just hit and despite the downpour, which has lasted for 20 minutes, the electricity supply has not yet been cu

Monday, 22 September 2008

Space, Ibiza, Closing Party

As a resident of Ibiza the closing party of Space discotheque has always had particular significance for me. I can never forget that on this day I always turn the mattress over from summer to winter!

This year however, it's also the day we bog off to Valencia for a few days R&R in a big city, and this time we're flying! Hopefully Iberia will get us both there, and back, without cancelling, postponing, or changing the timetable ever so slightly, unlike our normal maritime transporters Traumamediterranea.

Here's a couple of snaps of the city centre pad we'll be calling home for 4 nights.

If you're not a Space cadet and are already turning green with envy then why not book into this place yourselves? Here's a link


Sunday, 21 September 2008

Cala Cerveza

Mystic vestiges from the days when Ibiza was 'Loon Pant Island' still endure around its rocky coast. The magical magnetic island of Es Vedra still maintains exploding fish, flocks of ghost goats and rockets are seen appearing from the centre of it volcanic crater.

Across the sea, thousands of lentil juggling weird-beards risk broken ankles and sprained patchouli beads to descend to 'Atlantis' a former quarry which has now taken on Holy proportions thanks to an unspoken pact between Ibicencos not to reveal its well known whereabouts.

Cala Yoga, in San Antonio, pulls in the punters as the best place to lie on a comfy flat rock whilst going the extra inch for an all over bronzy.
Cala Cerveza, by Cala Conta, contains man made artefacts esoterically arranged in an eclectic collection of rocks.

Artefact from the Aluminium Age?

Carbon dating has put this strange object firmly in the aluminium age it's been postulated that it was probably placed on its plinth around about sunset the previous evening.

Further evidence of magic ceremonies at Cala Cerveza is given by the large amounts of charred wood and animal bones scattered about. Forensic scientists have concluded that whatever happens involves several types of animal given the preponderance of bones from lamb chops, pork spare ribs and chicken legs that have been uncovered.

What do you think?

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Cabin Fever: Ibiza

What better way to cure that feeling of cabin fever brought on by being couped up on a hot hedonistic speck of an island by booking a holiday in the wide open spaces of the middle of nowhere (otherwise known as the Alpujarras.)?

In the mountains south of Granada, and famous for some book or other, we're booked into this fab looking 'cortijo' for a spring break with a difference.

As always, here's a link - Orgiva - a name I imaginatively chose because it's the nearest town! We'll be doing lots of hiking, trampling over lemons, drinking gallons of the local tipple - Lanjarón mineral water - and who knows, Jaki may just remember that promise I made to return to the Alhambra when there were less than 7000 people already in the queue to get in?

Monday, 15 September 2008

Ibizan Graffiti

and who is Angie?

Name that Fluid

Can anyone help me identify this stream of liquid flowing from this Ibiza incontinency clinic?

Why they had a tinkling water feature on the reception desk is beyond me........

Saturday, 13 September 2008

More Ibiza Weather

Reading the Spanish papers this morning the weather forecast said that a cold blast was on its way down from the polar regions and would reduce temperatures by about 7 degrees overnight.

A closer inspection of the weather map revealed that the freezing air was on its way from Iceland if the Chicken Goujon and Sticky Toffee Cheesecake symbols on the occluded front were anything to go by!

The 'F' Word

Fa fa fa fa fashion.

Lounging in Ibiza's Plaza del Parque yesterday my past blog's unkind words about the fashion industry caught up with me. The photographer from a German Fashion shoot (an oxymoron if ever I wrote one) obviously had been tipped off about me and invited me to see if I could do any better with the camera.

Well, I've seen 'Blow Up' about three times now and listened to the sage modelling advice of multi-talented Davina McCall so was able to coax the very look I wanted from the model in no time at all.

Work it..................work it...............contain it..............release it!

Nailed it in one!

Gormless insouciance personified

(and she had those keks clipped at the back to make them look better!)

Friday, 12 September 2008

Biniaraix Bound

We're off again! We've booked yet another week's holiday in the Tramuntana area of Mallorca. This time we're bound for Biniaraix, a tiny hamlet about 15 minutes walk from Soller and close to Fornalutx too.

Here's our casita

and, as always, a link - Can Rosabel

As we're going in December we're hoping to see some snow capped peaks and are really looking forward to the changes in our ferry journey as once again we've booked with Traumalines for the crossing from Ibiza to Palma.

Don't ask me how I managed it but I somehow was given the low, low, maximum 6 nights return tariff for our 7 night stay? They'll probably ring me on the Friday night when I'm in a bar somewhere to say 'where are you, you should be getting on this ferry now?'

Any road, when I booked it, the ticket office guy asked if I knew that I couldn't change the booking because of the tariff restrictions. I replied that I had never once changed any of my previous 4 bookings but they had changed a mere three.

I'll never ever forget my last holiday in Valencia - basically because I didn't go as Traumalines cancelled the ferry about two days beforehand!

Ibiza Graffiti

Street Crime or Art?

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Ibiza Long Range Weather Forecast

Flicking through the satellite channels last night I just happened upon the long range weather forecast for Ibiza on Al Jazeera telly.

This week will be hot and Sunni, but next week it will be Shiite.

Happy Mondays

I like to start the week in a cheery fashion, so what better place than at my regular Monday morning haunt, the laundry in San Jose.

Every Monday without fail I'm there on the dot of 09.15 waiting for the staff to arrive for their 09.00 kick off. Normally I greet them with a resounding 'Good Afternoon' which, as irony isn't a form of humour here in Ibiza, is treated as my total lack of command of the parts of the day in Spanish.

This week I decided to surprise them with Monday-morning-joke-number-two which goes something like this..................

'Isn't this week going slowly?'

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Macao Cafe - On the Rocks

Part two in the Ibiza: Perfect Day section. In case you'd forgotten, it was Jaki's birthday yesterday. So, in addition to showering expensive gifts upon her, I took her to lunch at the Macao Cafe on Es Codolar beach near the airport.

It was one of those glowering days, under slate grey skies, when the sea is opaque and a little more than a few hues of blue. Add to this a soundtrack of funky, jazzy, rap with a lazy big beat and a fusion of fresh foody flavours and it all makes for a superb Ibiza afternoon.

Here's our food, goat's cheese salad, carpaccio of salmon, chicken brochette (all with the most divine dressings and sauces) and chocolate ice cream mil hojas.

And if that doesn't look good enough, this was the view from our table

And here's a video I made last year.........

Folk Me, I'm Famous.

It's been one of those perfect Ibiza days. San Jose played host to the people of Extremadura who were celebrating their region's day. Famous for acorns, pata negra pigs fed on acorns, acorn liqueur and of course the conquistadores, the Extremadurians were in town for a dance off with our local folkmeisters followed by a grand lunch.

Here's a collage courtesy of Picasa 3 of what went on.

All that gold is handed down through generations and that little girl was wearing about 6 layers of coloured petticoats!

Here's video which features a little lad who is sure to land a job at the town hall as he won't be out of place fast asleep at noon............

Veging Out in Ibiza

Sunday in Ibiza means just one thing for me - a complete veg out session, but not in front of the telly, in my 'huerta,' my tiny market garden.

Growing up in the shadow of a dark satanic glass factory in Chapel Street, St. Helens, gardening was never really on the agenda.

In fact I only acquired a garden 3 weeks before my 50th birthday and I'm quite proud of the produce I've grown.

So from the top I've grown Aubergines, Peppers, Tomatoes and what will soon be the world's biggest Lemon, which for some strange reason I've named Trent Barrett!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

One Ibiza Beach: Two Ibiza Months

Help! I had a great big box of jpeg files which I dropped on the floor and everything got mixed up. I need to know which one of these photos of Cala Conta is taken in the clean clear fresh air in February and which one is taken in hot, sticky early September.

Photo A

Photo B

I can hardly tell the difference, can you?